How to Change the Default Location of User Folders in Windows 7 and Windows 8
This will show you how to change (move) the default location of your account's C:\Users\(user-name) folders to another location of your choice instead in Windows 7 and Windows 8, and still have access to the user folder from the Start Menu (Windows 7 only) location.
If you are just wanting to save HDD space, then you might consider this below to be able to access the files from your libraries with the files actually located where you like instead. This way you will not have to worry about any potential issues that come with moving user folder locations. For example, whatever partition you move your user folders to will now be included in a system image in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
To Change User Folders Location from within User Profile Folder
1. If you a part of a homegroup, then you will need to change the homegroup settings to no longer share the user folder (ex: My Music) that you want to move first by unchecking the folder and clicking on Save Changes. (see screenshot below) NOTE:This is so the user folder (ex: My Music) will not be shared on the homegroup anymore.
2. In Windows Explorer, navigate to where (ex: D: drive) you want to move the default user folder (ex: My Music) location to.
3. Create a New Folder by right clicking or press and hold on a empty space in the main window there, and click/tap on New and Folder. Name the new folder without spaces (ex: "Music" for My Music) for the user folder that you want to move there. (See screenshots below) NOTE: The name that you type in for the new folder will be what you see as the user folder name in the Start Menu (shell:UsersFilesFolder) location when finished with all of these steps. It would be best to use the same name as the user folder to avoid confusion.
4. Close this window. (See screenshots above)
5. Press the Windows+R keys to open the Run dialog, type shell:UsersFilesFolder, and press enter. NOTE:This will open your C:\Users\(user-name) folder.
6. Right click or press and hold on a user folder (ex: My Music, My Documents, My Pictures, etc.....) that you want to move the default location for, and click/tap on Properties. (See screenshot below)
7. Click/tap on the Location tab, and Move button. (See screenshot below)
8. Navigate to the same location as in step 2 and 3 above, then select the renamed new folder (ex: Music), and click/tap on the Select Folder button. (See screenshot below)
9. Click/tap on OK. (See screenshot below)
10. Click/tap on Yes. (See screenshot below)
11. After a few seconds when the location has been changed, the Properties window (screenshot under step 9) will then close.
12. Check back at the C:\Users\(user-name) location to make sure that the old user folder (ex: My Music) that you moved is no longer there. If it is, then make sure that the contents of the folder were moved to the new location, and delete it. (See screenshot below) NOTE:If you are unable to delete the folder, then restart the computer and try again.
13. You will notice that the folder at the shell:UsersFilesFolder location and the new location (ex: D drive) you moved the user folder to, now has the default user folder (ex: My Music) icon. (See screenshot below) NOTE: The Start Menu in Windows 7 now opens the user folder from the new location (ex: D: drive) that you moved the user folder to.
14. If you a part of a homegroup, then you can now change the homegroup settings back to share the user folder (ex: My Music) again if you like by checking the folder, and click/tap on Save Changes. (see screenshot below)
If you wanted to restore the default location of the user folder, then see:
You presented the exact question I was seeking, but your answer illustrates moving a sub-folder of the default user. I installed Windows 7 and provided a username, so the default folder is c:\users\user1. There is a lock icon on this folder. I want to assign this machine to jjones and want the default directory to be c:\users\jjones with all the sub-folders of music, video, documents... I changed the login to jjones(admin), thinking it would change the folders. Maybe I missed a step... Thanks!
The only way you can change the C:\Users\(user name) folder is to create a new administrator account with a different name than the user1 and jjones that you assigned to the other account. Afterwards, copy the contents of your C:\users\user1 folders into the corresponding new account's C:\Users\(user name) folders. When everything checks out ok, you can then delete the old user account from within the new one.
Hope this helps,
Last edited by Brink; 31 Aug 2009 at 01:33 PM..
Thank you! This is what I was looking for. I was hopeful that if I just changed the only Admin login from user1 to jjones that Windows would simply prompt me to rename everything that was associated with user1. After thinking about it, that would not be easy for the system to do. I'm still trying to get used to the Libraries folder structure. It has initially been confusing.
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